How Much Do Dogs Sleep

The life of a dog is pretty nice. Aside from requiring complete trust that someone will provide food and let you outside when nature calls, there's not a lot more to be concerned about. And the best part? Sleep. Lots of sleep.

How Much Do Dogs Sleep

So exactly how much do dogs sleep each day? On average a dog sleeps 12-14 hours per day. Compared to their two legged friends who get closer to 6 hours a day.  That's quite a big difference.

One would think once awake, a dog would not constantly be seeking out a new spot for a nap and catching a few z's whenever possible. But they do.

How many readers can say the same? When's the last time you caught a nice fifteen minute nap on the couch? Probably hard to remember.

REM Sleep

The big difference between dogs and humans is the amount of time spent in REM sleep. For more on REM sleep, you can read, Sleep Types and Stages of Sleep.

Humans spend 20-25% of their sleep in the REM phase. Whereas dogs only spend 10%. Thus the need for longer periods of sleep to get more quality. REM sleep is vital. A lot happens during the REM phase of the sleep cycle.

You would think it is when the body is in a most relaxed state, but counterintuitively it almost appears the opposite. The image above shows brain activity during REM and non-REM sleep.  Lots of "red" on the left side. The brain is way more active. And REM stands for rapid eye movement.

REM is when dreams happen. Breathing is more elevated as is blood pressure. And the body goes through a period of paralysis. Doesn't sound good. But it is (apparently).

Dreams And REM

One sign that your dog is likely getting more quality sleep is when they show signs of dreaming. Those little tremors or sudden body movements startle us. They make us concerned that they are having a nightmare. Some scary dog is chasing the. Or worse, they realized the treats are gone.

But perhaps that is not the case. Perhaps we should not be waking them up. Taking them out of their important REM phase of the sleep cycle.


We all love sleep. Though few, self included, can claim they wake up fully rested and ready to go. Yet somehow, each day, we get through those first twenty minutes and are ready to begin yet another day. Not a fun process.

Imagine a dog though. How many of those "mornings" do they experience each day? Way more than one. Probably more like ten. Constantly being woken up to greet someone at the door. Or scare away a random spooky noise.

So sure, a dog's life is pretty nice. Lots of "rest" and few other responsibilities. But imagine having to constantly wake up each day? No thanks.

Post submitted by

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment